Posts Tagged ‘ bosque brown

BTV090 – BTV081

steven r. smith
floor of the sky (btv090) one-sided LP
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mewithout You
It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright! (btv089) 2xLP
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Erik Enocksson
Farväl Falkenberg (btv088) LP/7″
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Starflyer 59
Dial M (btv087) LP
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Denison Witmer
Carry the Weight (btv086) LP
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Soporus
24,110 (btv085) cd
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Bosque Brown
Baby (btv084) cd/LP+7″
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Unwed Sailor
Little Wars (btv083) cd/2xLP
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Emperor X
The Blythe Archives Volume One (btv082) one-sided LP
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mewithoutYou
Brother, Sister (btv081) LP
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btv064 Bosque Brown : Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller

Bosque Brown
“Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller” (btv064)
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Track listing:
1 Silver and Gold
2 Fine Lines
3 Hwy 377
4 No. 6
5 Fire Fight
6 Grazing Pastures
7 Still Afraid
8 Israel
9 Gina Anne
10 Red Roses
11 305 Bluebonnet

>Mara Lee Miller grew up in Stephenville, Texas, a small, isolated town. Growing up in small-town Texas would seem too confining for some, but for Mara, it has become the source of her inspiration. Attracted to the simple life lived by the people there and being constantly reminded of her own childhood memories, Mara has been secretly perfecting her own stripped-down blend of “truth-telling” and woe.

Mara was discovered by the folk singer Damien Jurado (Secretly Canadian/Sub Pop) in late 2002 during a tour that passed through Texas. After Jurado’s set, Mara’s husband Ryan handed him some of the home recordings that she had been working on while she shyly waited in another room, hoping that Jurado might offer some constructive criticism to help her hone her craft. Damien later fell in love with the recordings and introduced Burnt Toast Vinyl to Mara.

Those original four track recordings featured Mara singing breathy country-influenced vocals over sparse and simple guitar and serve as the seed for her full -length album. Damien Jurado compares her voice to “…the heartache of Kitty Wells and the lonesome howl of Robert Johnson.”

For all intents and purposes, Mara Miller is a solo singer songwriter, but has chosen the moniker Bosque Brown as the vehicle for her recordings. “I feel a connection with writers like Townes Van Zandt and John Prine,” Miller says. “There is something about being from Texas…when you hear others sing about it you just know.” Hank Williams Sr., Gram Parsons, and Gillian Welch are other influences, not so much musically, but for the timelessness of their music. Mara’s mother sings and plays piano, teaching her how to sing while growing up and sharing her love for old movies, which also influence Mara’s vocals and style. Her lyrics are simple and straightforward, about friends, family, love, the struggle between good and evil, or her feelings at the moment, not based on fictional storytelling.

Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller was recorded in Seattle by Eric Fisher (Rosie Thomas, Damien Jurado, Gathered in Song), a friend of Jurado who he entrusted with the recording project. Mara’s initial guitar and vocal tracks were recorded in their beautiful simplicity using her home recordings as a point of reference. Additional instrumentation and background vocals were gradually mixed in from various guest musicians, including Fisher and Jurado. David Bazan and T. W. Walsh (Pedro the Lion) mastered the final mixes. The result is a fuller version of Mara’s initial demos, keeping the sparse intimacy that characterizes Bosque Brown.<

Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller will be released in Spring 2005 and Mara will hit the road with a handful of musicians to fully realize Bosque Brown. Her husband Ryan plays lap steel and bass, her sister Gina plays piano and adds vocal harmonies, and two new Texas friends, Winston and Jeremy, add drums and guitar.

 

 

btv073 Bosque Brown : Cerro Verde

Bosque Brown
Cerro Verde (btv073)
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Track listing:
1 A House
2 That Door
3 Tell Her
4 The Pain
Mara Miller’s grandparents have lived for more than 50 years in their house on Cerro Verde in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, near Biloxi. During Hurricane Katrina, her grandparents attempted to weather the storm, but escaped when the flood waters rose. A nearby neighbor with a second story let them stay in their house after they fled theirs. Her grandparents and the home survived, but the repairs are still ongoing.

Bosque Brown’s Cerro Verde one-sided LP frames four songs about the home and family memories and issues brought to the surface as the flood waters rose. In the uncertainty after the hurricane, the family lost contact with the grandparents and led Mara and the others to both worry and reminisce. As with any family that has been tied to one location for so long, the house became associated with many events and memories, both good and bad. The frenzy of hurricane, missing grandparents, and the house introduce the story, the door transitioning from physical house and opening to memory. The record closes with the letting go of tragic memories held in the house, symbolically washed away with the flooding: “flood within flows out the pain, let it rain and rain.”

The front and back covers show Mara repairing furniture miniatures from a dollhouse her grandfather made against a backdrop of wallpaper from her grandparent’s house. Mara and her sister Gina played with that dollhouse as children, just like her mother and mother’s sisters did. Most of the furniture was ruined during the flood and what remains needs to be repaired. The images are carried through to the B side etching and are accompanied by a poem her grandmother wrote for Mara. Mara’s grandmother often wrote poems on special paper with some accompanied embellishments and these framed poems were in the house on Cerro Verde.

The album was recorded in Denton, Texas at the Echo Lab with Matt Pence (Centro-Matic) without any digital intervention. The songs were tracked to 1/2″ tape and transferred to the lacquer for LP manufacturing. The cd is included for portability and is the digital “safety” copy in case the analog master tape was damaged. The four songs feature only Mara Miller’s signature vocals and sparse acoustic guitar tracks.

Though both Cerro Verde and Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller are basically solo affairs, Bosque Brown has blossomed into a full band. Their live show has become a local staple in the their hometown, taking the Dallas/Ft. Worth/Denton, Texas area by storm. Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller was chosen as the top local release of 2005 by the Dallas Observer and the band has grown in popularity. They were also nominated for four Dallas Observer Music Awards including best song, best new act, best female singer, and best folk/acoustic performer. They’ve headlined their own shows and have played with Two Gallants, John Vanderslice, Will Johnson, Bobby Bare Junior, Damien Jurado, and The National, and has most recently been asked to perform among respected Texas songwriters Billy Joe Shaver and Ray Wylie Hubbard.